Then a scandal over lawmakers’ misuse of public funds erupted, threatening to undermine the platform that got Aquino into office — curbing corruption.
A whistleblower revealed in July that some lawmakers, including the president’s allies, were stealing up to half the money being allocated to local projects from discretionary government funds.
Aquino has since been accused of failing to convincingly tackle a culture of political patronage. His popularity rating sank to 49 percent in September.
The challenge now for Aquino, more than a week after Typhoon Haiyan, is to speed up the flow of aid and rebuild the confidence of a nation shattered by one of its worst natural disasters.
“I think he will not be popular despite the fact that he is trying his best,” Lim said.